Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
Twenty years later, the effects of the riots are still being felt in Chicago, in at least four different ways. First and most obvious (at least to those who live on the west side or visit occasionally) is the sheer physical destruction. Much of what was burned down on the night of April 5 was never built back up. Entire blocks completely destroyed by fire today stand as extended empty lots along the main drags of the west side. Strips of stores and restaurants that did not suffer the arsonists' wrath, only the interest of the vandals and looters, were boarded up shortly thereafter, and that's how a number of them have stood since.
From 1988: Gary Rivlin on the 1968 riots and how they changed Chicago.